Is it possible to train a kitten?

We all know it is one of the major differences between cats and dogs: You can teach a dog almost anything that is physically possible whereas it is said to be almost impossible to teach a cat one single trick, yes not even a simple rule (those who try to keep their cats off their counters and tables will know what we are talking about. However, kittens can learn a thing or two if you are willing to put in the effort and time. A few are actually very adaptive and can perform almost as good as the average dog. Here are some steps to follow if you want to give it a try.

First of all, you should be aware that not all kittens are equally open to learning, whether it is a rule or a trick. The stronger the bond between you and your pet, especially the more devoted your cat is, the higher the chances of it being willing and able to understand and fulfill what you´re asking for. This also holds true for a kitten that is very curious and energetic.

Here are some easy steps to begin with:

If you want to teach your kitten a rule, as for example not to jump onto the counter and/ or tables, choose a short and simple command such as "no", "off" or "stop". Speak in a clear, firm voice. If it does not leave the counter or table, gently pick it up and set it on the floor. Do so every time it attempts to jump or jumps onto the forbidden area. Don´t forget to use the command. Stay consistent. Your kitten won´t understand if you sometimes allow it to be on the counter and sometimes not. 

If your pet is very persistent in its behavior, you can use a stricter, slightly louder voice without getting angry. Always stay calm. Additionally, you can reinforce your command by using a spray bottle with water. Another form of scaring it off is to slap a newspaper onto a surface such as a table to create some noise. Here, also, don´t forget to use the command first, and don´t hit your kitten.

If your kitten is completely resistent to learing tricks or commands, please accept this and do not use force. It is vital to respect their cat personality. For more information, check out our page on understanding you kitten.